ISSOTL Fellows 2020 Spotlight – Amrita Kaur
Assistant Professor of Psychology
ISSOTL Region — Asia Pacific
What drew you to SoTL? The SoTL process which is rooted in reflection, systematic inquiry, and encourages mindfulness for teaching and learning is one key reason I began to value SoTL. The inquiry is a unique amalgamation of science and art- It allows me to not only develop a habit of inquiry for systematic examination of my learning and teaching but also promotes mindfulness and deep reflection which consistently reminds me of doing what is best for students’ learning. The knowledge that it is my conscious and mindful presence and not just my physical presence in teaching and learning that would make a difference has allowed me to value SoTL.
What does being an ISSOTL fellow mean to you? Being an ISSOTL fellow is a great honor. I feel valued for being acknowledge of my contributions and accomplishments. The title has helped me establish my credibility as a SoTL scholar which, in turn, has enriched my professional and personal identity. This title inspires me and motivates me to be a proactive member in advancing SOTL in whatever way I can. As a SOTL practitioner from the global south, ISSOTL fellowship has provided me a platform to connect with the international scholars across the world.
What advice would you give to ISSOTL members looking to better engage others in SoTL? ISSOTL is a well-established community steered by accomplished scholars who demonstrate their passion and care for teaching and learning without borders. With this authority, trust and commitment, ISSOTL members can aim for widespread reach in a variety of ways.
ISSOTL members can begin advocacy at department and/or university level by introducing the SoTL practice to other members. Target advocacy can be made for the departments that do not fall into social sciences and humanities categories as those disciplines struggle with adopting SOTL practices.
A systematic introduction to SOTL remains absent in several higher education institutions in the global south. ISSOTL members can undertake an inquiry of the current state of SoTL in the region they are located in and identify the gap in knowledge and practice in the region (city, province or state). As a part of scholarly service, ISSOTL members can reach out to universities and colleges, introduce the idea of SoTL and volunteer to provide workshops for its academic staff members.
ISSOTL, on its part can use its web presence to promote their fellows for advice or guidance to universities and colleges from around the world who are interested in SoTL. Similarly, ISSOTL members can initiate community of practitioners in their region for SOTL Advocacy/support and mentorship.